Have you ever been in a class and thought, “This course is just too hard”?
It’s a discouraging thought, and it might lead you down a rabbit hole of self-doubt. Instead of giving up, take a second to evaluate why you might feel like that—and how you can overcome the issue and find success in your education.
If you feel like your course is too hard, try these five steps to help you find a solution.
1. Figure out what’s making your course difficult.
Sometimes a course seems hard because you’re not used to the learning environment, or you haven’t nailed down your time management skills. Other times the subject matter is simply dense and requires extra study time. If you’re having difficulty in a course, try to objectively understand why that might be.
It’s important to use positive self-talk while doing this, and to avoid tearing yourself down. For example, if your course is covering a difficult subject, avoid making internal judgments about your intelligence or ability to learn. Instead, tell yourself, “I can learn this—I just need to create strategies to help me understand the content better.”
2. Use your school’s academic resources.
Many schools have academic tools available to students. If you’re having trouble writing essays, for example, schools usually have writing labs where instructors or other students provide feedback and help you shape your essays.
Your school might also offer one-on-one and group tutoring sessions where you can get some extra attention. Instructors often have office hours, as well, and you can make an appointment to ask them questions one-on-one.
It’s important to remember that using these services does not mean you’re a less capable student. In fact, using the resources available to you makes you a good student! So give your school advisor a call and see what services you can connect to.
3. Find the study style that works best for you.
Some people are visual learners while others learn best by quietly reading a textbook. Other students absorb information by having conversations with classmates and instructors.
Evaluate the way you learn so you can start developing strategies that help you absorb the material in the best way possible. You might make flashcards, for example, or draw pictures to illustrate a concept you’re learning. Whatever works for you, use it, and if you can, find classmates who learn in a similar way. That way you have a support system of people who understand how you absorb and retain information.
4. Readjust your schedule.
Let’s say you’re taking a couple of courses. You’re doing really well in one and grasping concepts easily. In the other, you’re having more difficulty—but you’re dedicating the same amount of time to both.
Try to rearrange your study schedule so that you’re giving the harder course extra time. Definitely don’t neglect the course you’re doing well in, but give yourself extra space for the harder subject. You’ll want to start studying earlier for tests and take more time to complete assignments.
5. Have faith in yourself.
Have you ever heard the saying that success isn’t about talent, but hard work and perseverance? It’s true. The people who succeed are the ones who push through challenges and overcome them, one step at a time. You can be that person if you have faith in yourself and keep going. There’s a solution to any problem, and you have it in you to succeed—you just have to make a commitment and hold strong!
Most students experience a difficult course at some point or another. It might seem intimidating, but start employing these tips to help make the course more manageable for you.